You’re likely reading this article because you’re at a crossroads in your life. Your parents are elderly, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent they aren’t able to look after themselves as they once did many years ago. They’ve said they don’t want to leave home and move into a facility, as they feel they’ll lose their independence. However, they can’t live at home unassisted and unsupported.
You’ve might have already thought considerable about providing care for your parents as you love them and want them to have the best care. But, you’re undecided about whether you should become a part-time or full-time caregiver for your parents. Here are some pros and cons of caring for elderly parents.
Pro: You Want to Care for Your Parents
Let’s face it: no children want to see their parents struggling to carry out even the most basic of daily tasks. It’s only natural that you feel you want to provide them care on a part or full-time basis. Many children feel the experience strengthens the bond between them and their parents, and they want to repay the sacrifice and love their parents have given them over the years.
Con: Caregiving Is a Demanding Role
The harsh reality of caregiving is that it’s a challenging and demanding job. You’ll have to deal with their emotions, as well as your own on this path. Things can get frustrating and even a little heated, trying to merge to different lifestyles and opinions about life. Plus, if your parents exhibit symptoms of dementia, the psychological effects of dealing with that as well can take their toll on you.
You should also know that caring for the elderly can be a physically demanding job as well. This will quickly become apparent if they require assistance to walk, bathe, or navigate stairs.
Pro: You Could Get Paid For Your Work
You might assume that the only way you can earn any money is by getting a part-time job that fits alongside your caregiving duties. The truth is, it’s possible to get paid for the care you provide for your parents. Being a family caregiver means you could get an income through a Medicaid-funded program. Additionally, your parents might choose to financially support you in exchange for helping them in a physical and emotional sense. My mother did this when I cared for her during cancer treatment.
Con: You Could Burn Out
Caregiving is a role to consider if you feel you are mentally and physically ready for such a role. The sad truth is that many care providers end up burning out due to exhaustion, depression, and anxiety. Moreover, caregivers are more likely to get hospitalized for chronic diseases and conditions due to stress, fatigue, and lack of time for self-care. Unfortunately, this can happen regardless of how much you want to be there for your parents.
Pro: You Spend More Time With Your Parents
Lastly, an obvious fact about caring for your elderly parents is the extra time you can spend with them. This can be heartwarming, especially if you’ve seldom seen them due to busyness or physical distance. They will likely enjoy the time they have with you and your family. However, do discuss this with them, as they will need to have a say in how much social time they have.